Brother of murdered schoolgirl Kate Bushell ‘implores’ witnesses to come forward 25 years after unsolved murder | UK News

The brother of a schoolgirl killed as she walked a friend’s dog has issued a new appeal for information 25 years after her murder.

Kate Bushell, 14, died of a knife wound to her throat in fields just a few hundred metres from her home in Devon on 15 November 1997.

The schoolgirl was walking a friend’s Jack Russell at the time.

Her father Jerry discovered Kate’s body in a field off Exwick Lane, on the outskirts of Exeter, three hours after her disappearance.

Her older brother Tim has now come forward to “implore” anyone with knowledge about the killing to come forward.

Kate Bushell with her brother Tim
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Kate Bushell is pictured with big brother Tim in a family handout photo taken before she was murdered

Mr Bushell said: “There isn’t a day that goes past where my family and I don’t think of her, what life would be like if she hadn’t been taken from us, what she would have achieved, and all the family milestones that we have been unable to include her in.

“I would implore anyone who has been unable to do so previously to share any information with the police so that with your help they can apprehend the person responsible and achieve justice for Kate.”

A £20,000 reward is being offered by charity Crimestoppers for information which brings her murderer to justice.

More than 160 detectives and officers carried out 5,000 house-to-house interviews and took 5,000 DNA samples during the initial probe a generation ago.

Three suspects have been interviewed and released without charge.

A review of the case and fresh appeal five years ago led police to 10 new lines of inquiry thanks to 204 calls and messages to the incident room.

But detectives say they’re still lacking a breakthrough.

Devon and Cornwall Police Detective Inspector Rob Back said: “We are as committed as ever to bringing the person responsible to justice.

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Tim Bushell has 'implored' the public for new information
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Tim Bushell has ‘implored’ the public for new information

DI Back added: “We appreciate that 25 years is a long time but someone must know what happened that day. For whatever reason they have not come forward but it is not too late to do so now.”

On the day of the murder, Kate left her home on Burrator Drive to walk her neighbour’s dog at about 4.30pm.

She was last seen alive at 4.50pm by a layby near the Whitestone Cross end of Exwick Lane.

Parents Jerry and Suzanne attend Kate's school memorial service with Tim
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Kate Bushell’s parents Jerry and Suzanne and brother Tim (centre) attended a memorial service at her school after her death

Kate suffered a catastrophic injury to her neck caused by a blade measuring at least six inches long.

DI Back added: “I remain convinced that either somebody knows or suspects who is responsible for Kate’s death.

“Maybe someone had suspicions about someone in their life back then and has been protecting them out of misplaced loyalty. It is now time for those allegiances to change.”

Anyone with information should pass it on to Devon and Cornwall Police’s Major Incident Public Portal online, or Crimestoppers anonymously.